Day after day, month after month, and year after year, and interesting shift in employment is occurring. It’s the rise of companies built partially or entirely on remote staff – that is, employees who work from home or who don’t need to be in any physical proximity to their boss or business’ headquarters. In many cases, like that of popular customer support software Groove, the business itself may not even have a headquarters, making for an entirely remote team.
Why has this trend been rapidly growing? For one, it cuts costs; if you’re able to put the money saved from office rent and associated costs each month right back into your marketing and advertising budget. Plus, this can allow a company to more easily source talent that isn’t available locally, and might not be able to immediately relocate due to family, finances, etc. Many companies find as well that there workers may be happier if they’re able to work their schedules around their family life, hobbies, or other things that make them happy and may not always coincide with a strict 9-5 schedule.
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If your entrepreneurial pursuits ever reach a point where you’re needing to take on some actual staff, this may be a way for you to take the step earlier and in a less costly way. That said, there are some things you should consider implementing to help make sure that remote employment is beneficial to both you and your employee.
1. Have a schedule.
While the schedule of a remote employee might be different as discussed earlier, they should still have some schedule made up so that you know when they will be working and when they will be off. This helps respect both the company by letting other team members know when they can easily reach someone, and the employee by setting boundaries so that the time they aren’t ‘on duty’ can be respected by their boss and coworkers.
2. Use collaboration tools to organize your tasks.
Honestly, there are a ton of these things out there, and which works best for you is something you’ll have to experiment with. The point is to simply have a digital space that stands in for a whiteboard or calendar type space that you might find in a traditional office. This will help everyone get an overview of what everyone else is working on and when projects will be completed. A good free tool is Trello, while a paid one would be something like Dapulse. Even if you go as simple as a Google Docs spreadsheet, make sure you have something in place.
3. Focus your hiring practices on motivation.
In traditional hiring, you’ll be focusing on qualification. While this is still important, keeping remote workers delivering at a level that justifies their salary means they need to be well-motivated by their work as well. For example, picking people who are excited about your specific product or mission is a great way to ensure that you will actually have a remote employee that puts in the hours when they need to. If you suspect motivation i swaning, address it. If that doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to tell someone it isn’t working out.
With these tips and a keen attention to finding the right people for your company or project, you should be able to cut costs and boost your workforce at the same time with remote employment.